2013 Giovanni Almondo Arneis Vigne Sparse Roero
 
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Winemaker Domenico Almondo 2013 Giovanni Almondo Arneis "Vigna Sparse"

Of all the great white wines of Northern Italy, few have a tighter allocation than Domenico Almondo's exquisite Arneis. Drawn from the sandy soil hillsides of Roero, some say the secret to the laser-like purity of these honeysuckle, lemon-lime whites lies in Domenico's cellar touch. Others insist it's in the family's meticulous grape growing protocol. But if you ask the winegrower, whose Arneis is a wine list staple at Marea, Rucola, Babbo and Del Posto, Domenico just shrugs his shoulders. "Nature makes our wines. We do our best not to get in her way."

In the 2013 growing season, by Almondo's estimation, Nature produced her finest work since the late 1990s. After an uneventful winter, spring was long, cold and damp. The chilly temperatures made for a small set. The rain drenched the sandy substrata, creating a high water table on which the deep-rooted plants would soon quench their thirst.

But the elements turned on a dime in late June. Temperatures spiked, causing many in Roero to pull leaves, hoping to jumpstart the maturation cycle. Almondo considered doing the same, but quickly decided otherwise. "You couldn't help but be tempted to pull leaves. But, in recent years, with global warming, I'm far more concerned about acidity than ripeness. In the end, "Sparse" has always been ripe enough, but when acids tumble, you can't make excellent Arneis."

The high temperatures of late June continued right through July. Overly exposed clusters were blistered. Almondo's vines, protected by a broad leaf canopy, shrugged off the heat blast. When temperatures again turned cool in August — pretty much staying that way right through early October — Domenico took his time like rarely before, making multiple passes through the vines during harvest, bringing in one of the more stunning small berry crops since 1999.

The 2013 Giovanni Almondo Arneis Vigna "Sparse" is brilliant green, yellow-gold to the edge, with piercingly focused aromas of honeysuckle, lime and anise. Ripe and juicy on the attack with excellent weight and density, infused with a luscious mix of ripe citrus, and lemon zest. Drink now-2018.

When we asked Domenico for our allocation at the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri tasting in NYC, the self-effacing winegrower gave us an all too familiar (if annoying) answer. "After Marea, Babbo, Del Posto, Blue Hill, Gramercy Tavern, Rucola and (Danny Meyer's) North End Grill … WineAccess comes first."



Tasting Notes

2013 Giovanni Almondo Arneis Vigne Sparse Roero
"The 2013 Domenico Almondo Arneis "Vigna Sparse" is brilliant green, yellow-gold to the edge, with piercingly focused aromas of honeysuckle, lime and anise. Ripe and juicy on the attack with excellent weight and density, infused with a luscious mix of ripe citrus, and lemon zest. Drink now-2018. A phenomenal effort from Almondo from a vintage he considers to be the finest since the late 1990s."
-- WineAccess Travel Log


*Important Shipping Information
    • This is a Pre-Arrival Offer: Weather permitting, wine will begin shipping in April, 2014.

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